Posted: 13.05.21 at 16:54 by The Editor
The winners of the Shining Light awards to recognise community heroes in Bath and North East Somerset who went the extra mile to help others during the Covid-19 pandemic were announced last night (May 12).
Twelve individuals and community organisations were presented with a Shining Light Award to highlight their work in going above and beyond to volunteer and support other people in the community during the past year.
The winners were chosen from 64 nominations made in total. They received a certificate of recognition and a Bath Aqua Glass Award. The award ceremony was held online and you can watch it here.
The Shining Light Awards are organised by Bath & North East Somerset Council in partnership with BSW CCG, BANES Virgin Care, Curo, Student Community Partnership (University of Bath, Bath Spa University & Bath College), and the 3SG.
The former Chair of Bath & North East Somerset Council for 2020/21, Councillor Andrew Furse, said: “The dedication to the community shown by the winners of the Shining Light Awards is humbling and they deserve every bit of this special recognition. The awards highlight the consistent support vulnerable people have received with the things many of us take for granted, such as posting a letter or popping to the shop. They are a recognition of how people have adapted to support the community when we can’t all be together in person. Congratulations to our winners and to all of the nominees too.”
The winners are:
Charles Dennett-Lewis for his support to others in his drama group by starting a prayer circle at the start of the pandemic, helped create a short film for Bath Area Play Project about young people and their perspectives during COVID and has recently started volunteering with BA1 radio. He is also a carer for his Mum.
Aimee Philips aged just 7 years old, she created a book called the Very Hungry Honeybee to raise funds for the NHS. She has started to write and illustrate the book in January of this year and her goal has been to raise £100 by her 8th birthday.
David Yeoman, from the Crown Inn in Keynsham who adapted his services to meet the needs of the local community, offering a delivery-only shop, supplying food and urgent supplies to the local community 24-7 including NHS staff and Key workers.
Wellow Village Shop at the start of lockdown identified the need to offer a delivery service which they had never done before. The shop and the local parish council worked together to identify local residents who were self-isolating and shielding. With a team of 40 village volunteers they assisted local residents not just with shopping but also dog-walking and befriending calls.
Diane Piekarski a carer that has gone over and above. Nominated by a retired couple who she had been caring for provided additional support to them. She brought the outside world into their homes during the past year while the couple had been shielding.
Bath and West Wiltshire Breastfeeding Peer Supporters who provided support to new mums throughout the pandemic. In March 2020 they had to stop doing any in-person volunteering and set up a Facebook Group to provide an alternative means of support. They have provided a listening ear, a (virtual) shoulder to cry on, and really important information and support to new mums going through a very difficult and potentially isolating time.
Sam Oliphant and the Chew Chat Team who provided support to older isolated people living in the Chew Valley area. When the groups were not able to meet up, the volunteers delivered cake and Sunday lunches to people’s homes. Each isolated person was allocated a buddy who regularly rings up to see how that person is and to try and work through any practical difficulties they may have.
Denise Perrin and Wern Covid Vaccination Community Volunteer Group that includes a member of staff and 80 volunteers who have supported the role out of the vaccination campaign in the Chew and Somer Valley. The team have helped to meet and greet patients including those older patients who are frail and have kept them informed and safe in and around the vaccination site.
Bath Freemasons Square Meals Project who utilised their existing resources to provide support to vulnerable people when they were forced to close their doors on their regular activities. They raised over £60,000 in order to provide over 25,000 two-course meals, which have been delivered free to vulnerable local families through local charities and the Community Wellbeing Hub.
Sarah Williams Martin and the 3SG Volunteer Team which includes a member of staff and over 2,000 volunteers who have provided ongoing support to local residents across Bath and North East Somerset since the first lockdown in March 2020. Not only have they provided support to people with shopping and medication collections, they have delivered leaflets and wellbeing packs, assisted at the vaccination centre at the Bath Racecourse and delivered Christmas meals and Easter Eggs.
Christopher Essex has led a team of volunteers and utilised the resources available at Saltford Community Association to provide support to local residents during the pandemic. He has set up a helpline, distributed leaflets, liaised with local shops, organised events, provided hot meals and raised funds to offer a hardship fund for local residents.
Caroline Huins a key worker who has made many people smile with generous gifts of flowers to brighten up people’s lives during a very difficult year. In March last year, Caroline who works for Tesco’s in Paulton noticed that there was a surplus of flowers left at her store at the end of the day. Instead of the bunches being thrown out she asked if she could take them home with her and quietly distributed them on her neighbours’ doorsteps at the end of her late-night shift. Local neighbours began to talk about the mysterious flowers left on their doorsteps and a Facebook group and messages of thanks were given to the ‘Flower Fairy of Writhlington’.
The annual Community Awards are on hold until 2021/22 so that people who have supported others through the pandemic could be given recognition through the special Shining Light Awards this year.